After banning neonicotinoid-containing pesticides earlier this year, the European Union Commission has added Fipronil to the list of banned chemicals. The majority vote was cast yesterday in an effort to help protect honey bee populations across Europe. The chemical came into question after the European Food Safety Authority conducted a study last May, which found that Fipronil-treated seeds posed as a risk to honey bees.

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Produced by Germany’s BASF, the banning of Fipronil met an almost unanimous vote, with 23 of the 28 EU states supporting the decision. Starting on December 31, 2013, the use of Fipronil on corn and sunflower seeds will be restricted to only those growing in green houses. The outright spraying of the chemical onto earthen crops of sunflower seeds and corn will be banned, and include all other crops it was previously used for, such as leeks, shallots, onions, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.

The European Union has been actively taking steps in response to the dwindling honey bee population and subsequent colony collapse disorder over the past year, to the chagrin of European chemical companies. BASF maintains that Fipronil is not the cause for bee population decline, and that the European Commission needs to further investigate the problem. Bayer of Germany and Syngenta of Switzerland, whose products were banned in May, also maintain that their products are safe.

Via Phys Org

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